Following his landslide victory in the November election, Democrat Josh Shapiro will take the oath of office on a chilly winter day in Pennsylvania’s fifth-most populous state during the state’s 48th governor’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday at the state Capitol.
Shapiro, 49, will take office with more state government experience than any of his recent predecessors, including six years as the state’s elected attorney general and eight years as a state senator.
He will take the oath in front of lawmakers, members of Congress, and others on a stage set up behind the state’s wealthy Capitol in Harrisburg.
Just over a dozen people, including survivors of child sexual abuse, parents of children killed by gun violence, and the widows of two state troopers who died in the line of duty, are among those Shapiro invited to speak on stage.
According to his aides, these individuals represent his achievements as attorney general and his bipartisan policy goals as governor.
In the Capitol early on Tuesday, greeting one another and lining up for credentials hours before the ceremony, were his friends and fans, prominent figures in the state’s political scene, and many of the people who will serve in the new administration.
According to aides, Shapiro won’t outline particular policy goals in his address. Still, he will highlight ideas he formulated before and after the election, such as Americans embracing democracy, rejecting extremism, and seeking progress on critical quality-of-life issues.
But he’s also transferring from the attorney general’s office to the executive suite in the Capitol at a time when Republican lawmakers are trying to limit the executive branch’s authority to enact rules and the House of Representatives is stalled by a partisan struggle for power.
Shapiro will be the first governor of Pennsylvania chosen to succeed a member of his party since 1966 as he replaces departing Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who was term-limited.
When he rolled to a decisive 15 percentage-point victory over the far-right Republican opponent, state senator Doug Mastriano, Shapiro lectured about the virtues of cooperation between parties, highlighting the support he received from both independents and Republicans.
A Democratic electorate enraged by the attack on the United States benefitted Shapiro. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the famous Roe v. Wade abortion rights case was overturned by the Supreme Court.
They saw Shapiro as a candidate who would use his veto power to defend abortion rights and guarantee a free and fair presidential election in 2024 when Pennsylvania is predicted to be a key battlefield once more.
However, given the six-seat Republican majority in the state Senate, Shapiro will need GOP approval for every new law before it can be implemented.
To that end, Shapiro has tried to stay away from politically explosive matters, staked out the center on several issues, and selected several Republicans for his Cabinet.